the sky floor

May 6, 2021

The YouTube User Experience Half of People Are Confused By

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More than half of our clients have misunderstood this question on Youtube video upload: Is this video made for kids?

You get two options, “Yes, it’s made for kids” or “No, it’s not made for kids.” Perhaps you can feel the uncertainty rising. This question is made more confusing by the answers. The stakes aren’t exactly low either; you risk violating Youtube Terms of Service and Federal law with a $42,000 penalty per mislabeled video.

Without the answers to select, the question is a fairly literal one to answer; either you made your video for kids or not. As soon as the uploader is presented with these answers, they second guess what the question asks for. 

Why it feels confusing to uploaders:

Imagine you are uploading a video for your non-profit. Your video is more than clean content-wise; it illuminates terrific work in the most fragile parts of our cities. You think, well, kids can, and should, watch this – there is nothing sensitive or grotesque. But the true intent of the question is to distinguish videos where kids are the primary audience. In other words, not if they could watch it, but if it was meant for them. So now you have to mark your perfectly kid-safe video “No, it’s not made for kids.” 

Something feels wrong about that to many users – and so they select “Yes, it’s made for kids.” 

Google’s support article doesn’t necessarily make it crystal clear either. Just in case you still aren’t sure, know that many Youtube features like Comments, Mini-player, and Save are all disabled on videos marked as “Made for Kids.” If you want the whole Youtube experience, it is best to leave this set to ‘no’. Unless, of course, children are the intended audience. 

Maybe you have run into this question and weren’t sure which to select. Hopefully, that makes it just a little more clear. 

Neat Rant, What is the Point?

I think Google/Youtube could easily make this more evident by creating more precise question and answers. (Who knows, maybe they are required by COPPA rule to ask a certain way.) 

“Are kids one of your primary audiences? Yes or No” 

Isn’t that more clear? It doesn’t feel like you are saying my video isn’t safe for kids to watch when it is. You are simply identifying your planned audience. After all, at the heart of the question is the audience.

When you are creating your website content, work on clarity. If you don’t, half of your users will probably take an unintended action. 

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